“Nothing But Flowers” KINDLE FREE Promotion

Received an email message from eMergent Publishing editor Jodi Cleghorn about a deal going on at the Kindle Store that’s way too good for anyone to pass up. EMergent Publishing is having a Kindle promotion for the anthology Nothing But Flowers.  Jodi says:

The promotion runs from Wednesday 23rd until Friday 25th, US (pacific) midnight to midnight, UK 9:00am – 9:00am, Australia 6:00pm – 6:00pm. It is a free download, and you don’t have to be signed up to any special program – you do need an Amazon account though. You also don’t need a dedicated Kindle eReader. The anthology can be read on a variety of devices using the Kindle App http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771 including smart phones, tablets and desk top computers.


USA http://www.amazon.com/Nothing-But-Flowers-Post-Apocalyptic-ebook/dp/B0073G2FRU/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1337733639&sr=1-3

UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nothing-But-Flowers-Post-Apocalyptic-ebook/dp/B0073G2FRU/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1337733686&sr=1-3


Inspired by the practice of recording music mix tapes, Literary Mix Tapes combines a love of music and short stories with a unique blend of creative crowd sourcing, collective submission and old-fashioned editorial grunt to create concept anthologies showcasing the freshest voices in speculative fiction.


Nothing But Flowers editor, Jodi Cleghorn despairing for musical inspiration for a Valentines Day anthology with a difference, had The Best of Talking Heads playing in the car at the end of a six hour drive from country New South Wales to Brisbane in January 2011. Fifteen minutes from home (Nothing But) Flowers came on and she seized on the concept of post-apocalyptic love stories using the song as a starting point. Always intrigued by the idea of daisies reclaiming Pizza Huts and yearning for a lawn mower, Cleghorn gave authors free reign over how they used the song, rather than assigning lyrics as individual prompts.


In a devastated world, a voice calls out through the darkness of space, a young woman embraces Darwin, a man lays flowers in a shattered doorway, a two-dimensional wedding feast awaits guests, a Dodge Challenger roars down the deserted highway…and that’s just the beginning.

Inspired by the Talking Heads’ song of the same name, Nothing but Flowers explores the complexities and challenges of love in a post-apocalyptic landscape; from a take-away coffee mug to a gun to the head, a fortune cookie to a guitar, the open road and beyond. Poignant, funny, horrifying and sensual, this collection of short fiction leaves an indelible mark on ideas of what it means to love and be loved.

The History

Nothing But Flowers was released on Valentines Day, each story available free on the web for a period of 48 hours. In the 72 hours which spanned all stories being available, there were more than 3000 views of the stories, equivalent of selling around 60 books!

Three months later the paperback launched online with sister charity anthology 100 Stories for Queensland. Within hours of being released the anthology went to #1 in all four categories it was listed in on Amazon UK (Sci-Fi Anthology, Sci-Fi Short Stories, Fantasy Anthology, Fantasy Short Stories) and reached #13 in the general anthology charts there. It also reached #1 in Canada’s Amazon store (in its given categories) and as high as #13 in the US Amazon charts.

The anthology remained in the top 100 for a month in Sci-Fi and Fantasy Anthologies categories in both the UK and Canada.

The authors of Nothing But Flowers went on to provide the 26 song prompts for Literary Mix Tapes follow up anthology Eighty Nine.

Ten stories from the anthology were chosen in March 2012 for adaptation to screen in eMergent Publishing’s first joint movie project, co-produced by Jodi Cleghorn and Devin Watson.

Stories and Authors

Sound of Silence Laura Eno 
Scarecrow Man Jodi Cleghorn
Daisy’s Cafe Sam Adamson
On the Corner of Clerk Street Rebecca Emin
Sophie Solitaire: Confessions of an End Time Girl Maria Kelly
Diana the Phoenix Christopher Chartrand
Headlines and Post-It Notes Adam Byatt
Escape from Paradise Rob Diaz
Nothing Else Matters Carrie Clevenger
Grey, Like Stone Lily Mulholland
I Dream of Cherry Pies Jen Brubacher
There But For Fortune Dale Challener Roe
Click Annie Evett
Two Fools in Love Graham Storrs
Golden Opportunity P.J. Kaiser
Warrior Rebecca Dobbie
Deux Sots Paul Servini
Alone Janette Dalgliesh
The Rose Garden Jim Bronyaur
Empty Shelves Benjamin Solah
The Gift Emma Newman
This was Paradise Icy Sedgwick
Absent Jason Coggins
Dinner in Paphos Susan May James
Driver and the Beautiful Highway Dan Powell

So go get a copy of Nothing But Flowers while it’s free and enjoy yourself some post-apocalyptic love!


Breathing Fire…The Year So Far

Just before New Year’s Day, I wrote a bold as brass blog post. I laid claim to the dragon year 2012 and made plans to burn, burn, burn, with a passion and fire like never before.

I have to say after three months, 2012 has not let me down.

It’s difficult being both a scholar and a writer. Sometimes I’m not sure where one part of my dual life ends and the other begins, as the two seem intricately interwoven and dependent upon each other to make me a whole being. To teach my passion for literature and writing, I work relentlessly toward a Master’s degree, perhaps even a PhD. I write on the side for pleasure and profit when I can, and I write as part of my school work.

Sometimes the two join and become one thing, like when I won the “Best Fiction Short Story” award at the Phi Theta Kappa Florida Regional Convention in Jacksonville a few weeks ago. Hearing my name and story called was like nothing I’ve ever felt. It was one of the most euphoric things I’ve ever experienced. I want more of it.

Also, on the scholarly side of things, I was nominated by my school for the All-USA Academic Team. I get to go to Orlando in a few weeks and accept a medallion and certificate that’s the reward for the years of hard work I’ve put in to become a top student. I didn’t make the All-USA final team, but the benefits of being named to an All-State team are being made clear to me. I was getting emails and letters from interested transfer schools before, but now there are an increasing number of schools wanting me to consider them for my baccalaureate degree. Good things, I think, will continue to happen to me as I inch ever closer to my dream of being a professor.

Now for the writing side of my life.

What writer on earth doesn’t want their stories to come to life on screen?

I was notified about a week ago that my short story Sophie Solitaire: Confessions of an End-Time Girl was chosen as one of ten stories in Literary Mix Tapes Nothing But Flowers anthology to be included in a movie project.

Finally, late last year I posted a previously published short story to the Friday Flash community, which I’ve been involved in for about two years now, although not as regularly as I’d like these days. I then submitted the story for possible inclusion in the second Friday Flash anthology: The Best of Friday Flash, Volume 2.

I just received an email from Jon Strother at Friday Flash this morning to let me know that my story, The ABC’s of the Apocalypse, will be included in BOFF2! I’m wildly excited about seeing this story in print again. It is one of the best stories I’ve written, and it received a lot of great comments when it was posted for Friday Flash.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to what the remainder of 2012 brings!

My award for PTK Florida Region Best Short Story, Fiction.

2011: The Year of the Roller Coaster

Image courtesy of Fotolia

2011 was a year with more ups and downs than a roller coaster for me, and I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. The job hunt was not going well, I got way behind on a lot of bills, got broke, and ate a crap-load of Raman noodles. All while waiting for student aid to come in. I finally got a student job at the college right when Fall Term started. YAY. It’s part-time and does not pay much, but it’s something. And I’m learning a great deal about the administration side of how a college works, information I’m sure will be useful when I finally get to be a professor.

As for writing, 2011 saw my first paid short story, “Nowhere Land” from Literary Mix Tapes “Eighty Nine” anthology. This was one of my best stories to date. Another of my best, also appeared in a 2011 anthology: “The King and His Twenty-Three Subjects,” a fantasy story appeared in the Florida Writer’s Association all-dialogue anthology “Let’s Talk.” I also wrote my first collaborative story, an apocalyptic short story titled “The Blight” told completely through emails with my friend zombie-master Jim Bronyaur. Speaking of zombies, I published a story in the Zombie Survival Crew’s anthology “Undead is Not An Option” about four foul-mouthed teenagers whose zombie role-playing game “Crunch Time” suddenly becomes a real struggle for survival against the undead horde. I started the year publishing a science fiction story that I also posted as Friday Flash and submitted to their Best of Friday Flash Volume 2, and hope to hear about that soon. Literary Mix Tapes also gave me a great writing start to 2011 by publishing my story “Sophie Solitaire: Confessions of an End-Time Girl” in the “Nothing But Flowers” collection.

I started an e-mag, The Were-Traveler this year. The first issue was released on Halloween. I’m looking forward to continuing it.

I taught my first class…a lecture for PINAWOR on the benefits of social media for writers. They were very social media shy writers, so I’m not sure I made much headway with them. But I learned what I ought to do and ought not to do the next time I make a presentation.

I fell short in some areas of my writing:

  • I wanted to have my first e-book collection released by the end of the year. Stuff came up. Mostly school work.
  • I did not blog as much as I wanted to, even though I got an award for Versatile Blogger. *smh*
  • I did not complete my novel that I started during NaNoWrimo 2010. I worked on it a little. Added a few words here and there.
  • I left a few stories hanging on the back-burner that really need to get finished as they are going in the collection.

All in all, an okay year.

But okay is not good enough. I want to be better than okay.

And for that, you’ll have to read my upcoming post about how I plan to set 2012 on fire!

Eighty Nine Release Scheduled & Let’s Talk

What happens when you take a playlist of 26 songs from the year 1989, put them in a hat, shake them up, draw them out one-by-one and match them with an author, then tell that author to write a speculative fiction story about the year that was ’89 and use the song as a prompt?

The answer is Eighty Nine, the latest anthology edited by the ultra-talented Jodi Cleghorn of Literary Mix-Tapes and eMergent Publishing.

I’m thrilled that my story, Nowhere Land, based on David Bowie’s song Tin Machine, is in this book. I’m extremely proud of this story, and I’m even more proud of the work my co-contributors put into this book. Each story is a unique and wonderful treat to read.

The official release date for the book is October 25th. There will be a launch on Facebook for the book, so look for updates from me on there or on Twitter soon about that. I will blog it, if school work allows. Here is a link to Literary Mixtape’s site where you can pre-order the book and read a sample. 

I have another story coming out in an anthology soon, possibly this month. It’s another story I’m very proud of, and I wrote it around the same time as Nowhere Land. The anthology is the third collection from members of the Florida Writers Association. It’s titled Let’s Talk and it’s a compilation of stories written entirely in dialogue. I’m pleased that my fantasy story The King and His Twenty-Three Subjects will be in there. It’s recognition from my local peers and it’s a damn fine story. I’ll keep you posted on that one, too.

I’ve also done the incredibly crazy and ambitious thing of starting an e-zine. The Were-Traveler started as an idea for a story about a werewolf on a Gen Ship. Whenever the ship enters a lunar system, he turns and things get, well, a bloody mess. The story idea hasn’t panned out yet, but I used the title for the name of the blog. Take a look at it and send me some submissions, why don’t you?

#HorrorChat13 and shiny new paperback books…

Courtesy of horrorchat.info

Jim Bronyaur and I just finished doing the first ever #HorrorChat13 Friday on Twitter and it was awesome. Lots of folks stopped in to talk with us about the Friday the 13th movies and horror in general. A bleeding, festering meme got started and a good time was had by all. Jim and I had a private chat on Saturday about what we’ll be cooking up for the future and I’ll just say this: You don’t want to miss it! It will be BLEEDING, FESTERING AWESOME. In caps, it’s that good. 😀 If you’d like to read Jim’s post about it over at the HorrorChat13 site it’s here and there’s a transcript of the whole thing right here.  Next month we are going to be talking about zombies and speaking of which…

In other news, I received a package from UPS today…guess what it contained?

Bad hair day...great book day.

That’s right! I’ve received my copies of Zombie Survival Crew’s Undead Is Not An Option, which has my insane RPG/Twitter story Crunch Time in it. I’m going to be publishing a post here soon that will give you a chance to win a copy. If you simply must have it now and don’t want to wait, you can purchase it at the Zombie Survival Crew Merch Shop.

Speaking of shiny and beautiful new paperbacks, the PB edition of Nothing But Flowerswill be launched by editor/author Jodi Cleghorn tomorrow. My story Sophie Solitaire: Confessions of an End-Time Girl is in that one. Jodi is launching her other flood charity project in paperback edition, 100 Stories for Queensland, tomorrow as well. The books will be available on Amazon or you can purchase them on Jodi’s sites by clicking on the titles. The proceeds from the purchase of these books goes to help people who were affected by the flooding in Queensland, Australia.

You could help some people out buying these books, and you’d have some quality stories to read, too.

“Nothing But Flowers” story coming up…

I wanted to do this post sooner, but I’m still processing my grief from the recent passing of my long-time four-legged companion, Missy the BratCat.

I’m super, super psyched that the day of the book launch for “Nothing But Flowers” has finally arrived and I’m looking forward to my story being posted at 12 pm today.

I hope everyone enjoys reading “Sophie Solitaire: Confessions of an End Time Girl.” I’ve had a wonderful time reading everyone’s stories so far. There are some stellar stories in this collection, and I’m happy to see so many of my Friday Flash compadres in there.

You can read the stories (for a limited time) online at the website: Literary Mix Tapes.

The project is the brain-child of Jodi Cleghorn, and is based on the song by The Talking Heads. Proceeds from the sales of this book will go to the Grantham Flood Support in Australia, to help victims of the recent flooding there.

You can also “like” the Facebook page for a chance to win copies of the eBook and paperback.

Happy Valentines Day, everyone, and Happy “Nothing But Flowers” day!